|kids get in on the action early and learn by doing, it's just a little funner getting to do it with a world champion saddle bronc rider.|
Why do we brand our cows? Simple answer: so you know who the cow belongs to. There are other ways, like ear tags (but they fall out) but you need a brand to sell a cow. Cattle rustling still happens!
My Dad has a super cool brand called a horsetrack. It is a single iron brand, meaning it takes one hot iron to brand. My husband has a three iron brand RJ/
|some of my families brands|
Brand Inspection is required:
- Before removal from the County.
- Before removal from the State.
- Before a change of ownership (selling one head or more cattle or horses).
- Before cattle or horses are sold at a livestock auction.
- Before slaughter at a licensed establishment.
If you are really interested there is more info HERE
Before a branding can happen:
- Friends and family are notified
- Vaccines and neccesary medicines are purchased
- Some outfits use growth hormones, we do not
- A temporary corral is set up where the cows are. (not all do this)
- The food is planned and prepared to feed the crew
|Temporary corral setup with portable panels|
On the morning of the branding everyone meets at the corral, we then set up all the trucks and horse trailors as a wing to help guide the herd into the corral. Some women are busy with small kids and preparing food, although most of the food will have been prepared the night before.
This was the riding crew Saturday morning, note the wing of trucks and trailors behind us. I am fourth from the right.
|note the small girl close to the end on the left with her small pony.|
Then we get our directions and split up. We head to different areas of the pasture. The goal is to find all the cows and calves and get them into the corral and do it on the first pass.
Sometimes a calf will run back, then another, and another, and then the whole herd is making for the back forty and you have to start over. Calves move better if they can stay with their moms. Sounds easy, but isn't. The calmer you can keep the cows the better. Making noise gets them moving, making too much fuss and commotion freaks them out and makes the herd harder to manage.
Once we got them to the part of the pasture where the corral was we held them for about 20-30 minutes. This allowed the moms and babies to find each other again and makes the move into the corral smoother.
People are needed to
- rope calves
- wrestle calves
- give vaccines
- notch ears
- run branding irons
- keep a tally
|things get busy! See all the action in the background?|
The kids get to ride a calf or two and make sure to compare rides afterwards.
|note the other boys watching!|
This was pretty vague, but it would have been a really long post to get more detailed. Feel free to ask questions!